Nigeria: Pastors Jailed for Forgery

13 December 2019

The General Overseer of Christian Charismatic Movement [CCM], Enugu chapter, Sabinus Onuigbo, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for forgery by an Enugu magistrate court.

The judge, J.O Umezulike, handed down the sentence on Thursday.

Convicted along with the cleric for the same offence were three other pastors of the church namely, Tony Chukwu, Chukwuma Orji Victor and Nick Nwoye.

The judge sentenced the others to three years with an option of N20,000 fine.

Ruling

The judge said the evidence before the court showed that the prosecution proved the allegation of forgery beyond reasonable doubts.

The signature of a pastor, Sunny Ndolo, who resigned from the church since 2011 was forged by Mr Onuigbo and his accomplices in the minutes of the church's meeting held on July 14, 2014 as brought to the court by the complainant, Innocent Ngwu.

"The sole issue for determination was the forgery of Rev. Sunny Ndolo's signature. The defence did not debunk or contradict it all through with their defence.

"As Lord Denning would say, you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand. Prosecution proved their case beyond reasonable doubt," the judge said.

He also said the defence "resorted to underhand tactics to undermine his judgement because as his proceedings was ongoing, there were intermittent interference."

"But facts before the court found four of the accused guilty while the fifth accused was not party to the allegations."

Prior to the judgement, the prosecution counsel, A.V Umehia, had tendered a written address to the court while the defence counsel, D.I.Chukwu, said he had no address to tender.

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